The Mental, Warminster, Wiltshire, England

Formed: Warminster, Wiltshire, England, UK

Super-amateurish punks, whose singer went onto greater things: the (UK) Subhumans, Culture Shock and Citizen Fish.

Extended Play E.P. - Side 1Extended Play E.P. - Side 2

 

The following is an interview transcribed from the Enigma/Short Sharp Shock fanzine from 1981:

Way back in July we interviewed the two brothers in The Mental, Steve and Dick.

HOW DID THE MENTAL FORM?
STEVE: It was just something to do at first, just as a laugh. We didn't have any instruments or anything.
DICK: It all started when Si Kick came to our house in Nov 78. He got a Woolies guitar and the band started. That was definite article [sic].
STEVE: The first Mental lineup was Si Kick (g), Heavy (v), Tony (d) and me (b).
DICK: The great revolution came when I joined in Jan 79 and we went through a series of drummers who bought drum kits but were then kicked out. Si Kick and Steve taught themselves their instruments. Our first gig was a shitty one, June 79 at Winchester. Our lineup has remained the same since.
STEVE: Since then we've done 20 gigs all over the place.
DICK: Bath, Chippenham, Warminster, Basingstoke. Just church halls and shitty places like that. We've had a lot cancelled too.

The Mental, Warminster, Wiltshire, England, UKWOULD YOU WANT TO PLAY IN LONDON?
STEVE: Yeah, but the trouble is getting there.
DICK: And if you do a shitty first gig there in front of a load of people then you're fucked.
STEVE: So we'd have to be good.
DICK: Which of course we are!!

WHERE DID YOU DO THE E.P.?
DICK: In a crappy eight track studio in Reading.
STEVE: It weren't a crappy studio, it was the producer (Martin Maynard).
DICK: £10 a fucking hour! We were so overjoyed at the fact that we going to be on vinyl that we didn't actually notice the production was shit. But now we've got a suss on these bastards, we won't let them grind us down and out.

HOW MANY DID YOU DO?
DICK: 700, It's not many but we were able to sell them all.

WHO WRITES THE SONGS?
DICK: Well we all do. On the single I wrote three and Si Kick write one. On the next single it will be the other way around. Steve writes songs but always loses them.

ARE THE MENTAL INFLUENCED BY OTHER GROUPS?
DICK: In a way, no. It's all individual tastes of the band members. For instance I like Crass. Steve doesn't so you can't say Mental are a Crass influenced band. It goes on like that.

DO YOU GET MUCH VIOLENCE AT GIGS?
DICK: Hardly any.
STEVE: Only when we play with Vice Squad. Anyone that plays with Vice Squad is likely to get violence.

HOW DID YOU SELL IT?
STEVE: We just went around selling it...
DICK: Rough Trade and Small Wonder helped a bit with distribution. That was when John Peel played it. Before then it just friends who bought it.

WHAT ABOUT ANOTHER SINGLE?
DICKL The next single... Well, we've just recently done a demo which after remixing it will be another E.P. The tracks will be 'Party Political Bullshit', 'Fun In Camden', 'Attack' and 'Oy!'. We hope to get the distribution done like before.

WILL YOU SEND THIS DEMO TO ANY RECORD COMPANIES?
STEVE: I don't really think we want a record company. You don't make anything out of it except fame. We sold the last single without one.
DICK: Unless you call Kamikaze Pig Records a company, which you can't really.

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DISCOGRAPHY

Singles & Albums

Extended Play E.P.Extended Play E.P. (7", 1979)

Extraneous Releases

The Mental / Stupid Humans - Pay The Public: EP + Demos 79-80Pay The Public: EPs + Demos 79-80 (CD, split with Stupid Humans, 2003)

The Mental - Extended Play LPExtended Play LP (LP, 2007)

Demos & Tapes

The Mental - Never Mind The QualityNever Mind The Quality (Tape, demo, 1980)

The Mental - Shoot The HostagesShoot The Hostages (Tape, demo, 1980)

The Mental - Mental BreakdownMental Breakdown (Tape, 1981)

Various Artists

Bloodstains Across The U.K. 3 UK LP 1998 (Bloodstains): Kill The Bill

Anti-Society: Anarcho Punk Compilation Vol. 3 UK CD 2006 (Overground): Attack

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Links

 

 

You can add stuff and make comments/corrections by emailing me at:

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

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